The Classicist: The Private Luxury of Loro Piana
Loro Piana's motto has it that true luxury is "knowing, not showing," i.e. dressing for yourself, not to impress others. It's "an inner satisfaction that comes from an aesthetic, intellectual, tactile pleasure, stemming from tradition, research and genuine quality." What could be better than that?
Their latest innovation is called Baby Cashmere®. To make this fabric the company first had to spend several years convincing Mongolian and Chinese breeders to comb the fine underfleece of the Hyrcus goat kid when it is 3-12 months old. Each combing yields no more than 30 grams of the rare, precious and incredibly soft fibre. Baby Cashmere crops up in Loro Piana's luxe Fall/Winter 2008 collection, which is about to hit stores; as usual we want it all.
We love the knitted stretch cashmere Davenport jacket pictured here, which like a lot of their designs calls to mind a cross between Cary Grant and Steve McQueen. And also like many of their best designs it captures that ineffable quality of effortless elegance the Italians call sprezzatura. This is the kind of thing you wear for a drive to your villa on Lake Como in your Maserati Gran Turismo. Even better, merely putting on this jacket for a trip to the liquor store can make you feel like you're driving to your villa in a Maserati, which is the real test of its worth (The jacket retails for $3,995).
Gallery: Loro Piana Luxe
While remaining firmly rooted in tradition, Loro Piana is constantly making technological advances and finding ways to protect even the most delicate fabrics from the elements. Their ingenious Storm System® is an extremely light and transparent "micro-molecular membrane" which when applied to the back of the fabric guards against inclement weather while leaving it free to breathe.
Unfortunately with such fine, desirable and exclusive products they're also constantly being ripped off. So this season some of their cashmere carries an anti-counterfeiting seal. It's an individual serial number engraved on a small metal tag attached to the garment, which can actually be traced all the way back not only to the fabric used to make it but the actual yarn used in weaving it in the first place. You can see that and more from the new collection in the gallery -- but you might want to check your credit limit first.